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News

January 29, 2015

In 2013, with 160 patents, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) was near the pinnacle of the university patent heap.

Christos Maravelias

January 23, 2015

Like any process, converting the sun’s energy into liquid fuels requires a sophisticated, interrelated series of choices. But what makes a “solar refinery” so tricky to map out is that, as one decides how to spark a solar-powered reaction that turns carbon dioxide and water into hydrocarbon fuels, so many steps could potentially involve newly developed and experimental technologies.

Mike Arnold. Photo by David Nevala

January 14, 2015

University of Wisconsin-Madison materials engineers have made a significant leap toward creating higher-performance electronics with improved battery life — and the ability to flex and stretch.

Stephan Savoia/AP

December 11, 2014

The costs of solar energy are plummeting, and now are about on par with the electricity generated at big power plants. This new reality intensifies a long-running business and regulatory battle, between the mainline electric utility companies and newer firms that provide solar systems for homeowners' rooftops. Sometimes the rivalry looks more like hardball politics than marketplace economics.

Tom Jahns and Deyang Qu

December 11, 2014

With expertise in energy storage systems for electric vehicles, smart-grid technology and military applications, Deyang Qu will be the first Johnson Controls Endowed Professor in Energy Storage Research—a collaborative appointment among Johnson Controls, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI) in the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering. 

The industry-academic partnership aims to advance research, development and commercialization of energy storage technologies.

Solar Energy Lab

December 04, 2014

In 1954, a highly accomplished 65-year-old chemistry professor named Farrington Daniels “sought solace in the sun, the poor man’s atomic power plant,” according, that is, to his wife Olive. Her 1978 biography, Farrington Daniels: Chemist and Prophet of the Solar Age, paints a vivid picture of Daniels’ vision of spreading solar energy research from Madison to the world.

At a time when few, if any, voiced concerns about meeting future energy demands with fossil fuels, this vision was unusual indeed.

Paul Meier

November 20, 2014

In June of 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its first ever guidelines for reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants. Called the Clean Power Plan, it proposes cutting carbon pollution in the power sector by 30 percent from 2005 emission levels by 2030.

Due to the highly variable nature of the U.S. energy system, the Clean Power Plan frames the power sector’s carbon pollution as a problem best solved by implementing an array of local, state-based solutions. What those regional solutions will be is the topic of ongoing discussion.

November 18, 2014

As the installation of photovoltaic solar cells continues to accelerate, scientists are looking for inexpensive materials beyond the traditional silicon that can efficiently convert sunlight into electricity.

November 15, 2014

It's called the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, but the state's oldest venture conference — launched in Madison 30 years ago — has taken on a decidedly Upper Midwest look.

Investors, entrepreneurs, speakers and other visitors from beyond Wisconsin's borders were among the 560 people who attended the two-day conference, which is primarily a pitch event for emerging companies. Still largely a Wisconsin show, the event's appeal to people from other states spreads the word that the Badger State economy boasts more than beer, brats and bovines.

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